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ETL 402 Assignment 2: A CAse for Literary Learning

Part A: Literary Learning Program

Rationale

Much of what we teach in schools is concerned with facts. Literature is concerned with feelings and quality of life, but Literature is also a rich engaging art form which can teach concepts and skills throughout all curricular areas.

Literature is a growing thing, reflecting the social realisms of a developing and increasingly demanding world. More recently the impact of technology has enhanced the access to a rich literary experience, encouraging a more positive attitude to the significant opportunities new technologies offer for reshaping the way in which narrative for children is conceived and presented, so that it continues its role of constructing meaning in their lives.

Children’s literature today encompasses a vast range of genre, form and media which takes the reader on an imaginative excursion, reflecting, capturing, finding meaning and even creating meaning, in relation to the world we live in. Works of children’s literature are therefore changing, in tune with what our world is and is becoming. The reader’s relationship to text and the texts themselves have also been clearly expanded, and new opportunities such as phone and tablet apps exist in children’s literature to engage with the powerful images and dramatic forms of multimedia and the Internet. Literature circles, book clubs, and a range of Web.2 technologies encourage a deeper social engagement with literature thereby allowing readers to enjoy and appreciate a book.

Winch (2006, p. 398) defines literature as “a body of writing – fictional and factual – includes novels, poetry, drama, biographies and autobiographies”. Winch (2006, p. 398) states that children’s literature is “literature that is usually written by adults, for children and to children”. Children’s literature historically aimed to teach, socialise and acculturate about morals, religion and education while today they tend to entertain and teach children about social issues and ideas (Winch, 2006, p. 398).

Children’s literature:

  • Is distinguished by its audience, with childhood being a legally defined period from birth to eighteen years.
  • Encompasses a vast range of genre, form and media.
  • Is finding and creating meaning in relation to the world we live in.
  • Is changing in tune with what our world is, and is becoming.
  • Uses new opportunities like phone and tablet apps to engage with the powerful images and dramatic forms of multimedia and the Internet.
  • A great variety and growing richness, evident in the literary works intended to have children as their primary audience.
  • Aids the development of cognition when human minds rely on stories and on story architecture as the primary roadmap for understanding, making sense of, remembering, and planning our lives.
  • Is engaging in a great deal of interesting and comprehensible reading.
  • Can provide an interpretation of the world that children need for developing cultural literacy.
  • Also helps to develop a sense of national identity and extends children’s cultural boundaries.
  • Explores possibilities and allows us to ask ‘what if’ questions, develops children’s imagination and helps them consider nature, people, experiences and ideas in new ways.As a teacher Haven’s chapter is so inspiring and reaffirming:
  •  Knowing the structure of stories improves comprehension and information delivered in a story structure is easier for students to comprehend increases informational memory and recall (Haven, 2007, p. 91 & 97).
  • As humans, we think, live and learn through stories (Haven, 2007, p. 104)
  • Curriculum content is more effectively and better when it is presented within the context of a story structure (Haven, 2007, p. 104).
  • Using a story and story structure enhances the creation of meaning (Haven, 2007, p. 104).
  • Haven (2007, p. 105) quotes Mahl-Madrona’s (2005) conclusion that “Story provides the dominant frame for organising experience and for creating meaning out of experience. …Stories provides the dominant frame for organising experience and for creating meaning out of experience.” While Drew (2005) states that “Stories provide a template for character and self-development and they also provide a model through which to approach life.” (Haven, 2007, p. 103)
  • Haven (2007, p. 106) quotes the following conclusion by Barbrow et al. (2005) “Stories provide a way to make sense of experience. Stories provide particularly important ways of understanding when unexpected, or uncertain experiences challenge what had previously been taken for granted.” The children we teach go through so much as such a young age from parents in jail, to abusive relationships, to terminal illness of their friends or themselves.
  • Haven (2007, p. 108) writes that stories can create “enthusiasm and a sense of belonging and community” so while stories are valuable from an educators perspective as teachers we are also invested in the emotional health of our students. In this sense stories can be used as a tool to help improve emotional health and social issues.
  • If I cannot see the point or reason for learning something I lack motivation. To increase learning and interest use stories to “create context and relevance for new” lessons (Haven, 2007, p. 109).
  • According to Haven (2007, p. 112) “stories and storytelling effectively communicate facts, concepts, beliefs, values, and other tacit knowledge.” While storytelling also enhances literacy learning (Haven, 2007, p. 113). 
  • How the Library can Assist
  • From a teachers perspective I see children who perceive reading to be just something they ‘have’ to do. They don’t find it enjoyable and they tend to read without meaning, reflection or interaction. They are as Zipes (2009, p. 30) terms it ‘misreading’: missing meaning which prevents effective comprehension. We need to ensure that our students have at least one adult in their lives that values literature for enjoyment and discovery, by sharing our love of stories and the fun, excitement and discussions that they inspire. We need to teach students that the literature is not simply about ‘curriculum’ learning it is also about learning and discovering ourselves and those around us.

For teacher librarians (TL’s) it is the reconceptualisation of the audience for children’s literature, and the extraordinary growth, great variety, and growing richness evident in the literary works intended to have children as their primary audience. The teacher librarian can increase and facilitate children’s engagement in reading. TL’s are well placed to provide access to a diverse and appropriate range of children’s literature, in many formats (digital & print), to create opportunities for children to emotionally engage with narrative, to work with teachers to develop protracted and reflective reading practices (Zipes, 2009, p. 42) and to encourage literature appreciation.

It is important for TL’s to promote the VALUE of reading children’s literature. It is the responsibility of the TL to make reading literature meaningful to teachers, curriculum leaders and students. TL’s are important advocates for embedding literature in curriculum and supporting a whole language approach (Church, 1994) to teaching and learning. So how can the TL can effectively use these collections to diversify curriculum and support literary learning? TL’s collaborate with teachers to design & implement curriculum programs that use literature to build knowledge, promote critical thinking, and develop reading practices that support transliteracy (Gordon, 2011).

The TL has many roles that can assist in the implementation of a literary program. They are:

  • A teacher and educator involved in programming, teaching and assessing and is responsible for literacy and information literacy skills development and the promotion of literature. Teacher librarians, as collaborative teaching partners, support teaching and learning programs in information literacy, recognising that students need to be inspired, challenged and empowered with new knowledge.
  • A resource manager who develops the school collection to suit the needs of teachers and students and manages both the physical and virtual environment. Gibbons (2013) states that ‘a good school library supplements the prescribed curriculum with that other curriculum, the world of favourite books, comics, DVDs and websites’.
  • An information specialist who makes information available for students and teachers. ‘Eventhough inquiry is a natural process for children, TLs need to help students with information retrieval through questioning and scaffolding.’ (Lupton, 2012)
  • A collaborator who is a partner in curriculum planning and design, a resource creator who re-shapes tasks to suit the learners. Purcell (2010) discussed TLs being ‘instructional partners’, helping teachers develop the curriculum further.
  • A leader who leads by example. eg. Implementing a guided inquiry approach to learning.

It is through these roles and the knowledge that the TL possesses that is greatly beneficial to student achievement within our school.

Below is an exemplar program that has been written to highlight how children’s fiction can be used to enhance the curriculum through literary learning.

 

Stage 3 Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
Curriculum Area / Learning Outcomes Teaching and Learning Strategies Resources The Role of the TL
EN3-3A Analyse and evaluate the way that inference is used in a text to build understanding in imaginative texts.

EN3-3A Analyse how text structures and language features work together to meet the purpose of a text.

EN3-7C Think critically about aspects of texts such as ideas and events.

EN3-8D Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts.

EN3-8D Recognise how the use of language and visual features can depict cultural assumptions in texts.

 

 

 

Chinese Culture

TL reads the story, A Ghost in my Suitcase, by Gabrielle Wang.

TS= Discuss the important aspects of the story and the TL highlights the different cultural aspects within the story.

·      Make a list of all the Chinese customs we learn from the novel e.g.

o   white dresses are worn at funerals, not weddings (p3)

o   the wearing of straw slippers in the house (p14)

Celeste’s mother maintains a number of Chinese customs at home in Australia. As a result, Celeste finds it quite easy to stay with her grandmother in China.

TS= Make a list of any similarities between Celeste’s life in Australia and her Por Por’s life in China.

·      Why do many migrants maintain their native customs in their new country?

TS/LS= Survey any students from migrant families to discover what customs their families have maintained since migrating to Australia.

Celeste is constantly surprised on the bus trip to the Isle of Clouds (pp49-

50).

TS/LS= Make a list of all of the surprising aspects of her journey.

·      What does this reveal about the economy and lifestyle in China as compared to Australia?

·      What is the significance of the white crane that is on the back of the talisman Ting Ting gives to Celeste?

TS/LS= TL informs students that they will take part in a webquest. Before doing so, TL sets clear guidelines and models the inquiry process.

·      What other traditions and beliefs does the Chinese culture have?

Students take part in a webquest: http://questgarden.com/18/06/1/ 060302120701/index.htm

LS= Students use the information sourced to create a powerpoint presentation on what they have learnt about the Chinese Culture.

Students return to share their findings with the class. TL assesses the students inquiry skills as students must state their reasons for using that source found in the webquest – not just because it was there.

 

Novel: A Ghost in My Suitcase by Gabrielle Wang

 

Wang, G. (2009). A ghost in my suitcase. Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin Group (Australia). (Appendix 1)

 

Webquest: http://questgarden.com/18/06/1/ 060302120701/index.htm

 

Whiteboard

 

Class set of computers or laptops.

Inquiry skills are used by human beings worldwide in everyday life. As teachers, it is our knowledge of children and how they learn that determines how we teach the acquisition of information and inquiry skills. Teacher librarians, as collaborative teaching partners, support teaching and learning programs in information literacy, recognising that students need to be inspired, challenged and empowered with new knowledge. Herring (2007) states that, ‘one of the key elements in a library mission statement relates to the development of information literate students.’ It is with guidance from the teacher librarian that students can become competent ‘locaters, selectors, analysers, organisers and users of information’ (Ryan & Capra 2001). The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Australian School Library Association’s (ASLA) Statement on Teacher Librarian (TL) Qualifications (2009) highlights the dual role of the TL as an educator and an information manager. This dual purpose can be clearly demonstrated when examining the TL’s role in implementing a Guided Inquiry approach.

Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari (2007) define Guided Inquiry (GI) as, ‘an integrated unit of inquiry planned and guided by an instructional team of a school librarian and teachers, together allowing students to gain deeper understandings of subject area curriculum content and information literacy concepts….”

When using webquests students will use information literacy skills to locate, access, select, compare and evaluate a range of website information sources, by working independently and using an iterative (going back and reassessing) process when refining, organising and managing their findings for presentation (Valenza, 2004, pp. 38, 41). They will demonstrate digital literacy skills by using key words, topic areas, or databases as search strategies, critical thinking skills to evaluate and interpret sources for relevancy, reliability, bias, points of view, authority and purpose, besides literacy skills when note-taking, organising, and presenting their research findings as a PowerPoint Presentation for assessment (ACARA, 2015).

Therefore the role of the TL throughout this lesson is to guide students through inquiry learning by utilising the webquest as a platform to do so.

EN3-5B Analyse strategies that authors use to influence readers.

EN3-8D Recognise how the use of language and visual features can depict cultural assumptions in texts.

EN3-8D Recognise that ideas in literary texts can be conveyed from different viewpoints, which can lead to different kinds of interpretations and responses.

Similarities and Differences – Japan and Australia

TL reads the picture book, Photographs in the Mud.

TS/LS= Students explore and analyse how the author and illustrator have created the two characters through the written and visual techniques. Illustrations give an insight into the characters’ cultural values and attitudes towards war.

TS/ LS= TL displays pages 1 and 3. TL promotes critical literacy and prompts students analyse the similarities and differences between the two characters and their respective cultures.

TS= TL focuses on pages 22-24 (excerpt) ‘I don’t know what you’re saying mate’ Jack muttered, ‘but you don’t sound like one of the vicious Japs you’ve been telling us about’… Hoshi didn’t understand the words but just as he loved his own family, he knew that this Australian soldier loved the woman in the photograph.

TS/LS= The TL promotes critical analysis of the dialogue as students explore how it represents characters’ perceptions of each other and how these perceptions change once they discover a common value.

TS= The TL introduces the web 2.0 tool Glogster.

LS= Students create a Glogster poster based on the similarities and differences between the two characters Jack and Hoshi. Students must also consider the different cultural values and beliefs of the characters.

LS= Students then share their posters with the class. TL assesses student’s critical thinking skills as well as their understanding of the cultural values and beliefs they have learnt about through the two characters from the story.

Picture Book: Photographs in the Mud by Dianne Wolfer & Brian Harrison-Lever

 

Wolfer, D., & Harrison-Lever, B. (2005). Photographs in the mud. Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press. (Appendix 2)

 

Class set of computers or laptops.

 

Glogster is a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create virtual posters combining text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks and to share them with others electronically.

The student learning outcomes from the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities are: Literacy- listen, read and view online and printed texts, photographs, plans, satellite images, story books and films and present this information to answer our questions.

 

Literacy encompasses a vast array of competencies, from understanding Information Computer Technology (ICT) to research skills and the critical analyses and synthesis of information. Wall and Ryan (2010) break down these competencies as a set of “skills, processes and attitudes that enable the learner to utilise information” (p.31). The core components include:

Critical Literacy

  • Asking questions to gain an understanding
  • Contemplating multiple points of view
  • Seeking social and personal connections
  • Reflecting

 

The TL is able to guide students to develop critical thinking skills throughout this lesson which is essential in today’s society.

 

 

EN3-5B Analyse strategies that authors use to influence readers.

EN3-7C Interpret events, situations and characters in texts.

EN3-8D Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different cultural, historical and social contexts.

 

Korean War

TS= Review visual literacy techniques and discuss the purpose of each technique.

TS= TL shows the animation to the students. After watching, discuss initial thoughts and perceptions of what the film maker is trying to achieve. Make a mind map on the board for the students to see.

TS= Watch the animation again. Add to the mind map if able. Watch from 00:00 to 01:40.

LS= Analyse the techniques used by the composer to convey this character’s personality. Explore how the character’s wide eyes, bright smile and playful singing portray him as innocent and worry-free.

TS= Watch the animation from 05:00.

LS= Explore how the boy’s role play and use of his imagination adds to their understanding of his experiences.

TS/ LS= Students create a Glogster poster that demonstrates their understanding of the character and how the film maker has used visual techniques for different purposes. Students must include at least 4 of the following the subheadings in their poster and show how these techniques were used in the animation:

·         Body language/ gaze

·         Composition

·         Colour, Hue and Tone

·         Contrast

·         Framing

·         Omissions

·         Orientation, Point of View

·         Positioning

·         Salience

·         Symbolism

·         Vectors

Students will then present their poster and give a short presentation on what they have learnt. The TL will assess student’s understanding of visual literacy techniques as well as their cultural understanding of the character.

 

Digital Resource: The Birthday Boy by Sejong Park

 

The Birthday Boy (2015). The Other Cultures Shed. Retrieved from http://www.literacyshed.com/the-other-cultures-shed.html (Appendix 3)

 

Class set of computers or laptops.

 

Glogster is a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create virtual posters combining text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks and to share them with others electronically.

Research shows that Visual Literacy, “a person’s ability to interpret and create visual information—to understand images of all kinds and use them to communicate more effectively,” is a successful strategy for all learners  (Burmark, 2002, p. v).

A major role of the TL with regard to the convergence of literacies is collegial support. Trans-literacy is not a library-centric concept; in fact – if students are to become literate, they will not be able to do so without the support of classroom teachers. Trans-literacy is concerned with the interaction and relationship between text and visual literacy, and as such – it is embedded in all content across all subjects (Ipri, 2010). Although the TL may be viewed as a literacy leader within the school, it is part of his/her role to pass on that expertise to his/her fellow professionals, so that all staff members feel confident in delivering lessons to the twenty first century student.

TL’s have a wealth of knowledge about resources within the school to be able to take a leadership role in the area of visual literacy implementation. In libraries, image resources are commonplace: libraries subscribe to image databases, build original digital image collections from special collections materials, and develop image collections for instructional purposes.

Within in lesson, the TL has the opportunity to integrate visual resources and visual literacy learning outcomes into existing information literacy instruction. TL’s can creatively incorporate image-based critical thinking and visual communication into assignment and the classroom. Images can engage students, demystify the research process, and lend richness to research contexts. The TL consults the Australian Curriculum and works collaboratively with colleagues to seek opportunities for integrating visual literacy into the curriculum and the student learning experience.

 

 

References

ACARA (2015). General capabilities – General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum – The Australian Curriculum v7.3. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum

Church, S. (1994). Is whole language really warm and fuzzy? The Reading Teacher, 47, 362-370. Retrieved from http://homepage.eircom.net/~seaghan/articles/8.htm

Gibbons, A. (2013) Beating heart of the school. Retrieved from http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org/

Gordon, C. (2011). Lost in cyberspace?: Tracking the future of reading. School Library Monthly, 27(8), 50-54. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/detail/detail?sid=7eddd199-f428-4b07-ab4c-fdf3e4488d70%40sessionmgr4002&vid=0&hid=4207&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=lih&AN=60797086

Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof : The science behind the startling power of story. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Hansen, David.M. (2012) Instructor’s Guide to Process-Orientated Guided Learning.POGIL website.

Hansen, David. M & Daniel.K.Apple (2004). Process-The Missing Element.

Herring,J.(2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S.Ferguson (Ed) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp27-42)

Ipri, T. (2010). Introducing transliteracy. College & Research Libraries News, 71(10), 532-567.

Kuhlthau, C. C., Maniotes, L. K., & Caspari, A. K. (2007). Assessment in guided inquiry. In Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st century (pp. 111-131). Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited. Available CSU Library Reserve.

Lupton, M (2012) Inquiry learning and Information Literacy. Retrieved from: http://inquirylearningblog.wordpress.com/about/

Mitchell, P. & Spence,S. (2009) Inquiry into Guided Inquiry. Vol.23, No.4, Nov 2009.

Upton,M. (2013) Inquiry Learning vs Information Literacy. ASLA Conference 2013.

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books, right?: A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3), 30-33.

Valenza, J. (2004). Substantive searching: thinking and behaving info-fluently. Learning and Leading with technology, 32(3), 38-43.

Wall, J., & Ryan, S. (2010). Digital literacy: a resource for learning. Resourcing for curriculum innovation (pp. 31-35). Camberwell, Vic.: ACER Press

Winch, G. (2006). Literacy: reading, writing and children’s literature (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Zipes, J. (2009). Misreading children and the fate of the book in: Relentless progress the reconfiguration of children’s literature, fairy tales, and storytelling. London: Routledge. (Chapter 2, p. 27-44)

Appendices

1# Wang, G. (2009). A ghost in my suitcase. Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin Group (Australia).

What appears to be a simplistic novel seamlessly weaves a family mystery, anger, grief and a family profession that defies expectation. Celeste’s grandmother is a ghost catcher through an art that has been passed down through her family. Young readers will love the swords, hand signs and talismans that are the tools of the trade, especially as the key ghost issue of the novel is tied to many of our characters. It’s simply written allowing the characters to speak for themselves and for the reader to absorb the issues naturally. The spookiness of the ghost catching methods will also capture the imaginations are they are beautiful, thrilling and scary. Wang has constructed a great story of grief, culture, family history and ghost hunting in this middle grade novel. A Ghost in the Suitcase is a great story of the strength of family and the importance of family legacy.

2# Wolfer, D., & Harrison-Lever, B. (2005). Photographs in the mud. Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press.

Jack and Hoshi are soldiers fighting on opposite sides of the war in 1942. The story shows the impact of war on Australian and Japanese soldiers and their loved ones. The text explores the common tragedy of war across two different cultures, and these similarities are presented through parallelism. Cultural values and beliefs of the characters are depicted, and cultural assumptions are challenged as readers see how two people from different cultures relate regardless of language barriers. Students explore and analyse how the author and illustrator have created the two characters through the written and visual techniques. Illustrations give an insight into the characters’ cultural values and attitudes towards war.

3# The Birthday Boy (2015). The Other Cultures Shed. Retrieved from http://www.literacyshed.com/the-other-cultures-shed.html

Set in Korea in 1951, a young boy explores his desolate surroundings. He has a playful and innocent nature that conflicts with the harshness of his surroundings. The animated film examines the impact of the Korean war from the viewpoint of a boy. Through the use of subtitles and visual representations, viewers gain insight into a war-affected Korean village. Regardless of the boy’s culture, viewers are challenged to look beyond culture and understand the impact of war. Students will examine the observable attributes of the character and explore how he represents his culture. The students will investigate what is important to the boy through his actions and attitudes.

Further Reading

4# Moriwaki, Y., Ham, P., & Edwards, D. (2013). Yoko’s diary. Sydney: HarperCollins Publishers Australia.

Non-Fiction Diary: Yoko Moriwaki was a 13 year old living in Hiroshima. Her diary was written as a school project and details her life as war affects the country. Her diary ended the night before the bombing of Hiroshima. This diary records the details of Yoko’s life as she has been mobilised by the war effort in Japan in 1945. Yoko mentions traditional Japanese activities, examined further through detailed explanations provided by the editor. Through Yoko’s thoughts and actions, students gain insight into her personality and identity. Students examine how the diary of Yoko and the foreward written by her family works to develop our understanding of her character. Students identify how they are similar to Yoko regardless of the cultural differences. Students examine how a summary of her routine provides the reader with an understanding of her character.

5# Greder, A. (2007). The island. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.

Picture book: A foreigner is washed up on the shore of an island. Initially the islanders take care of him but their fear of his differences creates conflict within the community about the man’s place in society. The story shows how fear and misconception can be spread within a community, and how people create their own truths about the unknown and different. Treatment of the foreigner addresses how a lack of understanding and empathy can create an uncaring world. Students analyse the characterization of the villagers and their attitudes towards the unknown. Greder uses haunting illustrations of the foreigner that evoke feelings of empathy and compassion towards the character. Students explore how the author has effectively positioned his readers to feel for the character. Students consider how the judgmental response of the villagers might symbolise a larger social issue. Students make connections between the book and the history of Australia and the Aboriginal people.

6# Vimeo,. (2012). Mother Tongue. Retrieved, from http://vimeo.com/44786621

Animated short film: Conveyed through a series of vignettes recorded daily for a year, this film describes moving from Korea to Australia and learning to speak English. Through the use of soft and simple images, the film effectively represents the loss the young Korean girl Hong Gyong feels first the physical absence of her father, then the loss of her native tongue. Students will be able to empathise with others in a range of contexts and understand the importance of communication. Through the composer’s use of visual literacy techniques, students will feel a connection with Hong Gyong. Students will discuss how the composer has represented her feelings about the importance of respecting cultural traditions whilst learning about fitting into a new culture.

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ETL 402 Assignment 2b Reflective Blog Post

As I reflect on my journey of developing and writing this assignment, the most prominent case for literary learning that resonated with me is that it is possible and not difficult. I acknowledged the issue that using literature in teaching seems like another subject to teach. Hence, it is not surprising that most teachers seem to avoid it. I believe the reason for this is the lack of understanding about literary learning. I think it is commonly mistaken with Literature, which is another subject on its own. Literary learning is integrating the use of literature arts across the curriculum (Cornett, 2007). Thus, the important point that every Teacher Librarian (TL) must communicate to teachers is that it is the use of literature to support and enhance learning outcomes in any curriculum topic and it is not teaching literature.

This assignment was a great example of educating teachers that it is possible to learn using literature. Literature has always been seen as a segregated subject but the act of just using any forms of literature as teaching resources is often neglected. It is generally use as resources for teaching the language arts. However, using literature, in particular, fiction is still not widely used in other learning areas such as Science or Mathematics. Cognitive scientists and developmental psychologists have confirmed that the human brain relies on stories to understand, remember and make sense of their life (Haven, 2007). Thus, why not make full use of this research information and apply it to other curriculum learning areas in order to gain positive learning outcomes.

In this regards, the role of the TL to promote literary learning is important. In developing the literary learning program, I am reminded of the multifaceted role of the TL as described by Herring (2007). In particular, Herring described the role of the TL as fiction and non-fiction advocate, curriculum and information literacy leader, instructional partner and information specialist. I could see that these roles were at play particularly in the teaching and learning strategies section as well as in the children’s literature promotion. Most importantly, I believe that this is a great reminder that the TL is not just a library staff looking after the library but the TL is also essentially still a teacher.

My final position in what I have learned about the concept of literary learning is the critical aspect of promoting literary learning. The concept is fairly new to me and I do not doubt that it would be new for some teachers too. I realised that the success of literary learning depends on the teachers’ full support and commitment. The roles of the TL are just one essential part to make the program work. Moreover, the TL could promote her/his role in every possible way. But ultimately, the program cannot be set in motion without the teachers’ involvement. If the TL is able to influence others and lead collaboration, it will significantly improve the whole school (Belisle, 2005). Thus, the leadership role of the TL becomes a key aspect in getting the teachers’ support.

References

Belisle, C. (2005). The teacher as leader: Transformational leadership and the professional teacher or teacher-librarian. School Libraries in Canada, 24(3), 73-79.

Cornett, C. E. (2007). Integrating the arts. Creating meaning through literature and the arts: an integration resource for classroom teachers (3rd ed., pp. 94-134). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice-Hall.

Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof: the science behind the startling power of story. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librabrians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

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ETL 402 Module 2 Diversity in Children’s Literature

Oops…. I accidently deleted this post and now have to rewrite it and post it again 🙁 Here it goes for the 2nd time hahaha

Some strategies to increase my professional knowledge of children’s literature are, accessing publisher’s book lists in Australia, Europe, and the USA, of recent and popular children’s and Young Adult’s literature. Another strategy would be to access the various professional and children’s choice Literary Awards in Australia as an alternative source when considering children’s literature for the school library.  Together with the student’s own book reviews, which are always a good indicator of popular trends or good reads for a certain age or year level.

Children’s Literary Awards

Another children’s literary award that would be useful for educational purposes is The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award, awarded ‘to the outstanding book of the Picture Book genre in which the author and illustrator achieve artistic and literary unity, or, in wordless picture books, where the story, theme or concept is unified through illustrations’ (2007-2014, CBCA).The award is an acknowledgement of the invaluable contribution picture books provide within both educational and social contexts.

Contemporary picture books are increasingly popular among all readers, and have become invaluable for teachers to use as opportunities for student’s to make meaning of texts, and develop both critical and visual literacy learning in the Australian Curriculum.

Literary Non-fiction

Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, letters, diaries and journals, travel and exploration narratives, are all examples of literary nonfiction. In The Little Refugee by Anh Do and Suzanne Do, Anh writes with humour and compassion of his life as a refugee (Mod. 2).

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ETL 402 Module 3 Literature and the Collection

 I thought it was about time I should actually post my thoughts and study notes onto my blog rather than keep them in my notebook. It’ll make it easier to refer back to electronically rather than flipping through many many pages of notes. Holidays have got the better of me….relaxation mode definitely kicked in and now it’s time to get my act together and put all my thoughts and notes on here lol. So here it goes…..

The Reading Bill of Rights includes eight “beliefs” that affirm every child’s right to read and what that means in the 21st century… from access to books and great stories, to the ability to analyze, interpret and understand information in the digital age.

Ted Hipple (1996) and Daniel Pennac (1999) suggest reading with subsequent book reports and reviews as part of an educational curricular context, rather than voluntary reading for pleasure, prevents children from holistically enjoying the experience of engaging with a text and immersing themselves within the story. Resulting in students becoming reluctant to read, and totally disinterested in discovering the unique and diverse world of children’s and Young Adults literature in our 21st century.
Pennac believes that by reading to children and adolescents, we (parents, carers, teachers, teacher/librarians) return to them the gift of reading”, and suggests we invite children to read and grant them the rights and privileges that pertain to our own reading.
Here are Pennac’s Ten, which he calls a “Reader’s Bill of Rights”:
1. The right not to read.
2. The right to skip pages.
3. The right to not finish.
4. The right to reread.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to escapism.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to browse.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right to not defend our tastes.

In Better than Life, Daniel Pennac shares his experiences as a parent, a writer and a teacher and asks, how does the love of reading begin? How is it lost? And how can it be regained? This impressive book explores how reading aloud can ensure that a love of books begins, why it is important that children develop a private relationship with books, and what “A Reader’s Bill of Rights” can do to guarantee children value reading(1999).

As a  teacher and future teacher librarian, I acknowledge Hipple and Pennac present a very persuasive argument. However, book reports and reviews are only two forms of learning outcomes; the trick is to provide a balanced variety of creative opportunities for students to engage with, when they review texts read for curricular purposes.

E-Books

Teacher librarian’s face challenges in the provision of e-books to students. These challenges can include the lack of exposure, experience and training by teachers, confusion over copyright, licensing dilemmas when developing e-collections, or justifying the cost of e-books in relation to the cost of print materials. However, there is an increasing trend towards digital material because:

  • E-books provide 24/7 access of traditional print content and make it available to multiple simultaneous users regardless of their physical location.
  • E-books have features such as hyperlinked information, read-aloud capabilities, dictionaries, and multiple language access instantly.
  • E-book content is never lost, damaged, or overdue.
  • E-book files can be downloaded, shared, or saved on handheld devices, flash drives, or notebook computers.
  • E-books do not take up valuable shelf space in overcrowded libraries.
  • E-books can be searched for and accessed from within the online catalog or the library’s website through hyperlinks that direct the user to the content.
  • E-books can be integrated into online bibliographies for special research projects and accessed immediately through digital pathfinders or research modules.
  • E-books can be accessed and shared by students and parents from home at any time and used to supplement instruction or homework assignments.
  • E-books with multiple language options or speech can be used by ESL students both in the classroom and at home to encourage continual language development.
  • E-books can be accessed during the summer months to extend the availability of the school library’s holdings to students and their parents even when school is not in session.
  • E-books can bring online content to students, teachers, and parents in smaller communities without public libraries.
  • Students with reading disabilities such as visual impairments can easily access online content and adjust the fonts or utilize speech software to access reading or research materials (Briscoe, 2011).

Censorship and Book Collection

Teachers and librarians may be questioned about the value of having a particular book, and being prepared to handle these challenges requires knowledge about children’s literature and its potential to diversify the curriculum. Censorship is difficult to define, and varies according to who is defining it (Hunt, 2001), but there is often a need to understand conflicts of intellectual freedom as a process based on age, family background, society’s attitudes, religious beliefs, or profession, with the historical and cultural context surrounding a text usually affecting the level of disapproval it receives (Vandergrift, 1997, para. 9). Vandergrift challenges professional teachers and school librarians to “invite others to read, question, think, criticize, and share their own interpretations … Without this ongoing dialogue and challenge to ideas and beliefs, there is no intellectual freedom” (1997, para. 9).

As teacher librarians, we need to consciously consider both the basis of intellectual freedom in our society, and policies, especially Freedom to Read, that exist through professional associations such as ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association), together with our responsibilities as professional educators to our school communities. A very fine line to walk! 

References:
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (2014). Statement on free access to information. Retrieved from: https://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-standards-and-guidelines/statement-free-access-information

Brisco, S. (2011). E-books in the school library. In Polanka, S. (Ed.), No shelf required: E-books in libraries, (pp. 37-54). Chicago: American Library Association.

Elish-Piper, L., Matthews, R. W., Risko, V. J., Johns, J. L., Bass, J., Dasinger, S., Illig-Aviles, B. (n.d.). A Reader’s Bill of Rights. Analyse, Issues and Insights. Retrieved from: http://americanreadingforum.org/yearbook/yearbooks/00_yearbook/

pdf/01_Elishpiper_00.PDF

Hipple, T. (1996). A review essay: ‘Better than life’. ALAN Review, 23(3). Retrieved from: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/spring96/hipple.html

Hunt, P. (2001). Children’s literature. Oxford, UK ; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers.

Pennac, D. (1999). Better Than Life. Coach House Press. Toronto, Canada:

The Reading Bill of Rights – A Child’s Right to Read. . The Scholastic Channel. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quOFcoWBAgw

Robertson, D. (2010, Oct 21). The Reading Bill of Rights – A Child’s Right to Read . Scholastic Channel.

Vandergrift, K. E. (1997). Censorship, the Internet, intellectual freedom, and youth. Retrieved from: http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/censorship.html.

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ETL 402 Module 1: Overview and Introduction to Children’s Literature

The history of children’s books

When defining children’s literature, Barone (2011, p. 9) mentions the debate about when children’s literature was said to begin. Was it when literature was written for children or was it from when children started using literature written for adults (Barone, 2011, p. 9)? While children’s literature is influenced by how adults perceive childhood resulting in books to learn from, books for enjoyment, or a combination of the two (Barone, 2011, p. 19).

The University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department’s (2010) website the World of the Child was really interesting as it has some of the books that were mentioned in previous readings as well as some of the books I have read which I hadn’t realised were written so long ago.

Madej (2003, p. 1) summed up one of the main things that I appreciate about children’s literature when she wrote that children’s literature helps children to “construct meaning for themselves”. It’s always interesting to listen to what children have taken away from the story you have spared as there are countless times where they have noticed something that you have missed. As Winch (2006, p. 401) said “literature is a deep experience that we respond to in many different ways and at many different levels.” We all have our own beliefs, experiences and emotions which affect the way we respond to and understand literature.

Image retrieved from http://www.ekantipur.com/uploads/tkp/news/2011/gallery_08_12/children-literature_20110813094558.jpg

Madej (2003, p. 15) writes about the reality of children’s literature in games which I hadn’t made the connection to before however upon reflection on playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, 2010) I can see this is very true.

Defining children’s literature

Winch (2006, 393) states that children’s literature is typically defined as “literature for children or, less commonly, as literature of children” and moves onto discuss the differences between the two perspectives.

While Burke (2008, Development and social-constructionist Models section) and Winch (2006, p. 396) highlighted the debate of how to define children, Winch (2006, p. 394) discusses the debate about what constitutes literature. Winch (2006, p. 398) defines literature as “a body of writing – fictional and factual – includes novels, poetry, drama, biographies and autobiographies”. Winch (2006, p. 398) states that children’s literature is “literature that is usually written by adults, for children and to children”. Children’s literature historically aimed to teach, socialise and acculturate about morals, religion and education while today they tend to entertain and teach children about social issues and ideas (Winch, 2006, p. 398). I love Winch’s (2006, p. 398) notion that children’s literature is “a conversation – that a society has with its young”.

Winch (2006, p. 400) suggests that we should read to children of all reading capabilities and to read books that these children many not select to read for themselves. I think this is a great idea as students who are very focused in one area of reading such as Zac Power can discover other genres and characters that they enjoy. At my current school we implement the Accelerated Literacy program which entails studying a book for a term. Students are exposed to a range of literature that they wouldn’t necessarily look at unless we presented it to them. Students also study the author and develop an appreciation for writing and illustrating as they begin to understand the process and the intent behind each story.

Winch (2006, p. 406) discusses the commonality between children’s literature and poetry. I think this is true as some books are more enjoyable read aloud to highlight the flow of the words and sometimes the rhyming. 

It was interesting to read about Winch’s (2006, p. 407) belief that we should remember that books are to be enjoyed which Barone (2011, p. 8) also encourages teachers to do. Children’s Literature: Literature, as in fiction and nonfiction, written by anyone for children aged between 0-18 years old.  

The value of literature to children

Imagre retrieved from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yFS3FiUvkrI/Tt66b9mKHbI/AAAAAAAAAII/uuMI9YZtqJg/s1600/iStock-000010243060-kids-climb-a-stack-of-books.jpg

Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof : The science behind the startling power of story. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Group.

As a teacher Haven’s chapter is so inspiring and reaffirming.

  • Knowing the structure of stories improves comprehension and information delivered in a story structure is easier for students to comprehend increases informational memory and recall (Haven, 2007, p. 91 & 97).
  • As humans, we think, live and learn through stories (Haven, 2007, p. 104)
  • Curriculum content is more effectively and better when it is presented within the context of a story structure (Haven, 2007, p. 104).
  • Using a story and story structure enhances the creation of meaning (Haven, 2007, p. 104).
  • Haven (2007, p. 105) quotes Mahl-Madrona’s (2005) conclusion that “Story provides the dominant frame for organising experience and for creating meaning out of experience. …Stories provides the dominant frame for organising experience and for creating meaning out of experience.” While Drew (2005) states that “Stories provide a template for character and self-development and they also provide a model through which to approach life.” (Haven, 2007, p. 103)
  • Haven (2007, p. 106) quotes the following conclusion by Barbrow et al. (2005) “Stories provide a way to make sense of experience. Stories provide particularly important ways of understanding when unexpected, or uncertain experiences challenge what had previously been taken for granted.” The children we teach go through so much as such a young age from parents in jail, to abusive relationships, to terminal illness of their friends or themselves. I like to think that the stories we can select to read and include in our collects can help in some way to help them process what they are experiencing and help to create a sense of belonging. It’s a bit weird but when life has turned upside down is a relief to know you’re not the only one to have challenges like this and that there is a way through it.
  • Haven (2007, p. 108) writes that stories can create “enthusiasm and a sense of belonging and community” so while stories are valuable from an educators perspective as teachers we are also invested in the emotional health of our students. In this sense stories can be used as a tool to help improve emotional health and social issues.
  • If I cannot see the point or reason for learning something I lack motivation. To increase learning and interest use stories to “create context and relevance for new” lessons (Haven, 2007, p. 109).
  • According to Haven (2007, p. 112) “stories and storytelling effectively communicate facts, concepts, beliefs, values, and other tacit knowledge.” While storytelling also enhances literacy learning (Haven, 2007, p. 113).

“Are stories as more efficient and effective vehicle for communicating factual, conceptual, emotional, and tacit information and a more effective teaching vehicle? Not only yes, but absolutely, yes!” (Haven, 2007, p. 122)

 What are your pleasures in literature?

ESCAPE – When life is too busy, too messy, too stressful, just too something a good book allows you to step back, switch off and dive into another world where problems will be solved by someone else by the next chapter or the end of the book.

IMAGINATION – I enjoy reading stories where you get to imagine a completely different world with different possibilities, characters and beings.

ADVENTURE – I loved reading ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ to my year 3 and 4 students. They were so engaged in the story and became so involved in discussions. Because I also teach in a rural area where most parents are farmers, the students could also relate and make connections to the story and their real life experiences.

Zipes, J. (2009). Misreading children and the fate of the book in: Relentless progress the reconfiguration of children’s literature, fairy tales, and storytelling. London: Routledge. (Chapter 2, p. 27-44)

Zipes (2009, p. 29) laments that many homes are without books which it a disturbing thought! We even have a Home reader program and allow students to choose their own books to take home each day, but still the parents are too busy to listen to their children read each night and the children never return them. Our library’s bookshelves are overflowing with children literature and our Librarian is forever adding new books that the children request. We are extremely fortunate to have a well stocked library, but again the children just don’t have an appreciation for books as they used to!

As a teacher the lack of books in some family’s homes is a worry. If there are no books how are parents modelling the importance of reading to their children and the joy of reading for pleasure?

From a teachers perspective I see children who perceive reading to be just something they ‘have’ to do. They don’t find it enjoyable and they tend to read without meaning, reflection or interaction. They are as Zipes (2009, p. 30) terms it ‘misreading’: missing meaning which prevents effective comprehension.

Image retrieved from http://fb11499.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/depositphotos_5791992-reading-book.jpg

We need to ensure that our students have at least one adult in their lives that values literature for enjoyment and discovery, by sharing our love of stories and the fun, excitement and discussions that they inspire. We need to teach students that the literature is not simply about ‘curriculum’ learning it is also about learning and discovering ourselves and those around us.

Ebooks in an educational setting…

In response to iPad: Evolution of Books (SoldierKnowsBest, 2010) I wonder do some of these enhancements distract the reader from the story? I love the idea of enhanced e-books as students are so immersed in technology.

Advantage of the use of eBooks in the school library environment: Students are interested in ebooks and if we can harness that interest for educational purposes or to generate effective readers or students that choose to read for pleasure what a future for our students.

Disadvantages of the use of eBooks in the school library environment:

  • Which devices do you cater for?
  • Who provides the devices?
  • How do we make e-content accessible for everyone?
  • How do we fund it?

Oxford has a free UK ebook site that allows you to select an ebook and it will be read to you. When you click on the title it shows you the series or book level however when it is read to you the pictures are visible but the text isn’t which could be a drawback. It provides a range of genres but limited titles and it would be useful to have more flexible search options.

http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/teacher

Inkmesh (2013) is an interesting site that provides an ebook search engine to find and compare ebook prices for various ebook readers.

https://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.inkmesh.com?gname=teacher_librarians

References

Barone, D. M. (2011). Children’s literature in the classroom : engaging lifelong readers. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/Read.aspx?p=581948&pg=15

Burke, C. (2008). Theories of Childhood. Encyclopaedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. Retrieved from http://www.faqs.org/childhood/So-Th/Theories-of-Childhood.html

Guldberg, H. (2009). Reclaiming childhood: freedom and play in an age of fear: Retrieved from EBL Library.

Madej, K. (2003). Towards digital narrative for children: from education to entertainment, a historical perspective. ACM Computers and Entertainment, 1(1). doi: 10.1145/950566.950585

The University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department. (2010). World of the Child. Retrieved from http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/exhibits/child/

Winch, G. (2006). Literacy: reading, writing and children’s literature (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.